Top congressional Democrats have accused President Donald Trump of “fanning of the flames of discord, bigotry and violence” by ordering troops to “dominate the streets” outside the White House.
The National Guard used tear gas to clear protesters outside the White House on Monday evening before the president visited St. John’s Episcopal Church.
In a joint statement issued on Monday, June 1, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) condemned the forced removal of the protesters who took the street following the George Floyd’s death in police custody in Minneapolis, “dishonors every value that faith teaches us.”
“Across our country, Americans are protesting for an end to the pattern of racial injustice and brutality we saw most recently in the murder of George Floyd,” the Democrats wrote.
“Yet, at a time when our country cries out for unification, this president is ripping it apart. Tear-gassing peaceful protesters without provocation just so that the president could pose for photos outside a church dishonors every value that faith teaches us,” they said.
Pelosi and Schumer called on President Trump, law enforcement, and all entrusted with responsibility to respect the dignity and rights of all Americans.
“Together, we must insist on the truth that America must do much more to live up to its promise: the promise of liberty and justice for all, which so many have sacrificed for—from Dr. King to John Lewis to peaceful protesters on the streets today,” the statement reads.
The Democrats said as the country needs real leadership at this challenging time, “the president’s continued fanning of the flames of discord, bigotry, and violence is cowardly, weak and dangerous.”
According to The Hill, as President Trump traveled on foot to St. John’s Episcopal Church, he posed for photos with a Bible in front of the church, which had been set on fire during Sunday’s demonstrations.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) late on Monday described the protesters outside the White House as “professional agitators” and said the media fell for their “calculated & deliberate tactics.”
The protesters were removed from the area shortly before 7 p.m., the curfew start time for the city on Monday.
“They knew the street needed to be cleared before 7 p.m. curfew,” Rubio said in a tweet. “But they deliberately stayed to trigger police action & get the story they wanted, that “police attacked peaceful protesters.”
Protests erupted across the United States after George Floyd, a black man, was murdered in Minneapolis by a white police officer who was shown kneeling on Floyd’s neck in bystander footage of his arrest.
Several peaceful protests were quickly hijacked by violent, virulent, masked misanthropes called antifa, and President Trump on Sunday tweeted, “The United States of America will be designating ANTIFA as a Terrorist Organization.”
Riots appear to be well-coordinated, not just random events, as pallets or piles of bricks have been mysteriously appearing at places where protesters have gathered across American cities for rioters to conveniently use to cause damage to property and injure police and others.